French Terms Related to Hanukkah and Judaism

Mother and daughter lighting Hanukkah menorah
Ariel Skelley/Blend Images/Getty Images

Hanukkah is a Jewish festival of survival and freedom that lasts for eight days. Learn some French vocabulary related to this annual Jewish celebration.

Le Nom du Festival: The Name of the Festival

Because Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday with a Hebrew name, it may be spelled several different ways:

  • English spellings: Hanukkah, Hanukah, Hanukka, Chanukah
  • French spellings: Hanoucca, Hannouccah, Hanouccah, Hanoukka

Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights (la Fête des Lumières) and the Feast of Dedication (la Fête des dédicaces).

Les Dates de Hanoucca: Hanukkah Dates

Hanukkah begins on the 25th of Kislev, the ninth month in the Jewish calendar, and lasts for eight days. It occurs on a different date every year of the Gregorian (solar) calendar - sometime in November or December.

La Nourriture de Hanoucca: Hanukkah Food

Food is a big part of the Hanukkah celebration. Most of the traditional foods are fried in oil, in remembrance of the oil that lasted for eight days, while others are made with dairy products:

  • cheese   le fromage
  • doughnut   un beignet
  • to fry   frire
  • milk   le lait
  • oil   huile (feminine)
  • potato pancake (latke)   une galette aux pommes de terre
  • sour cream   la crème aigre

Le Vocabulaire de Hanoucca ~ Hanukkah Vocabulary

Here are the French translations for some terms related to Hanukkah, as well as Judaism in general:

  • blessing   une bénédiction
  • candle   une bougie
  • December   décembre
  • door   une porte
  • Dreidel (spinning top)   la toupie
  • eight days   huit jours
  • family   la famille
  • game   un jeu
  • gift   un cadeau
  • Jewish   juif
  • kosher   casher, kasher
  • menorah   la Ménorah
  • miracle   un miracle
  • November   novembre
  • pocket money   argent de poche
  • prayer   une prière
  • Sabbath   le sabbat
  • song   une chanson
  • sunset   le coucher de soleil
  • temple   le temple
  • victory   la victoire
  • window   une fenêtre